SHILLONG, Jan 05: Congress leaders including the Chief Minister on Friday requested veteran legislator DD Lapang to reconsider his decision of not contesting the 2018 polls while the latter maintained that he wants to put up new faces to lead and shine in the political arena.
The request was made by Congress leaders including chief minister Dr. Mukul Sangma, former CM Salseng C Marak, Shillong MP Vincent Pala during the function to welcome the new MPCC chief Celestine Lyngdoh held here on Friday.
“I would like to request him (Lapang) to reconsider his decision. I would like to have my senior colleague to be willing to contest (in the upcoming elections) as after him I will be the oldest candidate to fight elections,” Marak said.
Sangma also in his address said, “I join with Marak in requesting Lapang to contest in the upcoming elections as it is possible because we have a system to take care of the aspiration of the people.”
He reminded that the Nongpoh constituency is a Congress bastion for many years except one time when Lapang lost in 1993.
Pala, who is also the newly appointed working president of the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC), said that the party still needs Lapang.
“I was also asked by the AICC general secretary CP Joshi to request Lapang to fight the upcoming election,” he said while adding “I have even talked with his doctors and his health is okay.”
The former five-time chief minister however reminded that he had served as a Nongpoh legislator for 40 years and said “It is time to pave way for young faces.”
“I have served as an MLA for 40 years after winning eight times and at the age of 85 years I thought that it is time to see young faces coming forward,” he said while urging others to also follow his footsteps when they grow old.
Lapang, who was appointed as the adviser of the MPCC, had also proposed the name of Mayralborn Syiem as the candidate to contest in his place from Nongpoh constituency in the upcoming Assembly elections.
“It is time to give chance to others. I want to project young people and I am guiding him. I will not contest but I will not leave the party. I have already made it clear that I will continue to serve at any capacity,” he said.
Expressing confidence that the Congress will come back to power, the veteran leader said that all political parties are claiming that they will form the new government but this will end up as “bundles of contradiction”.
According to him, despite internal differences but the Congress is a family that cannot be separated as its members will never go beyond the boundary of burning their own house.
He also said that the Congress will not compromise while allotting the party ticket as winnability will be the first criteria. “Like what CM is saying I believe that the party will surely win in 38 seats in the upcoming elections,” he added.